Free People Dress and Bag (ebay)
Helmut Lang Coat (ebay)
Manhattan Clog Boots for Women c/o Sandgrens
If you aren't familiar with Sandgrens', they are a Swedish based company that was started in 1846 and are now considered one of the oldest clog crafting companies. The clogs are hand made in Sweden, you can actually see a behind-the-scenes video about creating the clogs on their front page! They are one of the few Swedish clog making companies to still manufacture in Sweden and the wide variety of clogs they create really speaks to how fashion forward they are. I looked at a lot of clogs this past summer trying to find the perfect pairs and I was really blown away by the selection that Sandgrens offers. Sandgrens also sells through their Etsy webpage - when I buy shoes online I do a lot of research now and I loved seeing all of the reviews! Nothing will make me buy a shoe faster than lots and lots of reviews.
I did want to pick out something that I would get a ton of mileage out of and when I look at my style formula, I realized it was a pretty easy choice. I wear either high rise black skinny jeans with a blouse and leather jacket, a maxi dress with tights and boots or a short dress with black tights and boots. I reach for black boots more often than I do my brown or red ones so as much as I love the burgundy lace up boots, I knew that black boots were what I'd wear the most. I choose the Manhattan Women's Clog Boot because I loved the sleek profile, it is so sharp looking from the side and I really appreciate the adjustable strap at the top. I can loosen it if I'm wearing jeans or tighten it up a little if I'm wearing tights and no end up with a large gap between my calf and the boot. These have a very walkable heel and while I did order the highest height, there's also a version with a lower heel, the Soho, which is great for an every day shoe. I went with the Manhattan because I really like the black leather with the dark wood sole but there's quite a few other color choices, such as burgundy and brown! There's also the New York which features a light wood sole if dark wood isn't really your thing.
I really appreciated that the website gave such extensive measurements on the shoes. I buy most of my shoes online now and it can be really frustrating sometimes trying to tell how a boot will fit or look. I've been burned a few times with boots not fitting my calf or ankle so I am really careful about paying attention to calf circumference now. The guide was very helpful, it mentions both the shaft height and the shaft circumference for the different sizes which I really appreciate. The measurements are extensive so I will say this, pay attention to the sizing guide! With boots I usually go up a size and wear a EU 40 but the Sandgrens' boots seem to run small according to the guide. I went up to an EU 41 and I'm very happy I did, they would have been too small otherwise!
Brochures were included with the packaging that outlined how the boots were suppose to fit and I thought that was very helpful. Leather boots can feel very snug at first and sometimes it can be hard to tell if the tightness you feel means the boot just needs to be broken in or if it's just too small. The boots were tight for the first 10 mins, right behind the ball of my foot but the leather loosened up pretty quickly and mine were completely broken in after a few days of easy wearing. (The guide says about 2 weeks to break in and not to wear them for long periods of time until then but mine felt very comfortable after wearing them around the house and even after the first day of standing on my feet, they still didn't hurt.) The leather is really incredible, it's much thicker than my Rag and Bone boots and while it's not "buttery soft" it is very smooth and is vey high quality. (Buttery soft leather is not great for boots - it wears out quickly and in my experience, is difficult and expensive to have repaired.)
What impressed me the most about these boots was the zipper - I've never had a pair of boots with this good of a zipper! It's very sturdy and the teeth are thick, they zip up very smoothly and it's going to take a lot to blow these out. I have to get the zippers on my paddock boots repaired about once a year and it's always very expensive so it made me very happy to see that Sanndgren's put this much thought into the boot and didn't cheap out in an area than even work boot brands often cut corners on. Knowing that I won't have to keep replacing the zipper at $70 a pop means I would have no qualms about buying a more expensive boot. The price feels steep at $319 but I really feel that is a fair price considering that the clogs are hand carved and that they use such nice materials - the leather is very thick compared to other boots in the $200 - $400 range that I've looked at and as I mentioned, none have had that nice of a zipper. Sandgren's does run sales however so keep an eye out for a good deal!
The only down side to these boots was that while they have a really amazing grip on the bottom, you do get balls of snow packed on. I didn't have this problem at all with packed down snow or walking on ice, just loose wet snow so it's really not a big deal - just knock the snow off your boots before walking on a slick floor. The sole are really great for walking on ice, I haven't slipped in these at all and the tread is pretty aggressive. (Which I think it what makes the bottoms ball up, I've had this problem with other boots with aggressive treads so to me, it's not a big deal.)
I mentioned I really liked the "Seattle" shearling boot that they have out so I thought I should show it. Isn't it pretty? If I wasn't so happy with my shearling clog boots I have now I would have gone for these in a heart beat, as it was it was hard not to choose them! They also feature these in a lower heel (again, great for every day) and in both a shorter boot and a lace up bootie - one of the things I really like about Sandgrens is the variety of heel heights. Not all of us want a super high boot or need to wear flatter shoes and it's nice to see a brand acknowledge that. (Not surprising seeing as they offer clogs for nurses.)
While I did choose the Manhattan Boots, I was really tempted by the Victoria. Last summer I really wanted a pair of vivid red leather clogs, low heel and closed toe and I could not find a pair that was just right. Everything either had a t-strap or open toe or that straps weren't exactly what I wanted. But then I found these on Sandgrens and they are so perfect! The only reason I choose the Manhattan over these was because of how long our winters are. with 8 months or snow, boots just make a little more sense but ooooooh, these are so cute. I think I'll have to save up and buy these because how great with they be with shorts or maxi dresses in the summer? (Or haha, black skinny jeans?)
*I was gifted a pair of Sandgrens clogs in return for a review. This is my honest option regarding these clogs - Alaskan Weredork doesn't accept many c/o products and when I do accept, it's because I really love the product. Thank you to Sandgrens for giving me these boots, I really am impressed with them and am grateful for the opportunity!